Nasa's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia 15 years ago. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has revolutionised our understanding of the universe through its X-ray vision.

It's one of Nasa's three "Great Observatories", along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, and is designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions of the universe.

Chandra has observed objects ranging from the closest planets and comets to the most distant known quasars. It has imaged the remains of exploded stars, or supernova remnants, observed the region around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way and discovered black holes across the universe.

It has also made a major advance in the study of dark matter and contributed to research on the nature of dark energy.

To celebrate Chandra's 15th anniversary, four new images of supernova remnants – the Crab Nebula, Tycho, G292.0+1.8, and 3C58 – have been released. These supernova remnants are very hot and energetic, and glow brightly in X-ray light, which allows Chandra to capture them in exquisite detail.

The observatory was renamed in honour of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), he was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the 20th century.

"Chandra continues to be one of the most successful missions that Nasa has ever flown as measured against any metric – cost, schedule, technical success and, most of all, scientific discoveries," said Martin Weisskopf, Chandra Project Scientist at the Marshall Space Flight Centre.

IBTimesUK presents some of Chandra's "greatest hits" from the past 15 years.